Over the last couple years, Marshall's Grant VanKeulen has been the leader of the pack for the boys cross country team and as a member of the track and field team.
And starting next year, he'll join a new pack of runners, signing a letter of intent to run cross country and track and field at Division I South Dakota State.
The last two summers, VanKeulen went to running camps sponsored by the Jackrabbits, so when SDSU inquired about him, VanKeulen jumped on board quickly.
Photo by Joe Brown
Marshall senior distance runner Grant VanKeulen looks over his letter of intent to run cross country and track and field at South Dakota State Wednesday at Marshall High School.
"I've gone down there the last two summers to a camp with Rod (DeHaven, SDSU's head coach), and he's just a great guy and I have gotten along with him well," VanKeulen said. "They've got a good program and they've won two of the last three conference titles."
A three-time state entrant, VanKeulen finished in 43rd place twice, and his best state time came this fall at 16 minutes, 29 seconds.
Looking to major in Ag in college, VanKeulen believes he can fit in right away for the Jackrabbits. Other teams showed some interest, but VanKeulen set his sights squarely on SDSU.
"There were a few schools, but I kind of made my decision fairly early," VanKeulen said. "I'd tell them, 'Thank you for your interest, but I've already decided to go to SDSU.'"
But first things first. After VanKeulen helped the Tigers boys cross country team get to the state meet, he wants to make it one more time at the state track and field meet this spring.
"I definitely want to have a good track season. We want to go to state in the 4-by-800 (meter). That's been our goal since cross country," VanKeulen said. "We want to finish out strong and get the whole team there. I'd like to get there as an individual, but I'd more so like to get there as a 4-by-8 team."